Rapper Heavy D performs at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2011 on October 1 in Atlanta.

Story highlights

Heavy D died in the ER at Cedars-Sinai, the coroner's office says

Beverly Hills police were called to his home at 11:25 a.m. Tuesday, police say

He performed last month at the Michael Jackson tribute in Wales

The rapper's real name was Dwight Arrington Myers

Los Angeles CNN  — 

Rapper Heavy D collapsed in his Beverly Hills home Tuesday morning and died a short time later at a Los Angeles hospital, according to police and the coroner. He was 44.

Heavy D, whose real name is Dwight Arrington Myers, was found conscious with difficulty breathing at his home after police were called there at 11:25 a.m., the Beverly Hills police said in a news release.

He was pronounced dead in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s operations chief Craig Harvey. The cause of death has not been determined, Harvey said.

His hip-hop recording career began in 1987 with his group Heavy D & the Boyz and on his first album he released the hit single “The Overweight Lover’s in the House.” Another one of his breakthrough hits came in 1991 with a remake of the O’Jays’ “Now That We Found Love.”

Heavy D’s rapping was featured on Janet Jackson’s 1990 hit “Alright.”

He rapped on Michael Jackson’s 1991 hit “Jam,” which he performed at last month’s Michael Jackson tribute show in Cardiff, Wales.

He also composed and performed the theme songs several television shows, including “In Living Color,” “MADtv” and “The Tracy Morgan Show.”

His last CD, “Love Opus,” was released this year.

Heavy D also pursued an acting career, which included mostly roles on TV shows and movies.

He played a courthouse guard in the Eddie Murphy film “Tower Heist,” released last weekend.

iReporter: “Rest in peace to Heavy D”

He used his Twitter account Monday night to express sadness about the death of boxer Joe Frazier:

“SMOKIN JOE FRAZIER..RIP.. truly one of the best heavyweight champs that ever lived.. GODS SPEED,MR FRAZIER!”

Heavy D’s last Twitter message, posted late Monday, was: “BE INSPIRED!”

CNN’s Jack Hannah contributed to this report.